Whelp, it's Friday again. Time to unwind with my favorite transcripts of Jay Leno monologues and attempt to reverse engineer the recipes for TGI Friday's entrees.
Fay reports the Reds will have contract talk with Dusty next month
OK, be cool. It's only half a season. And the team is starting to appear held together with popsicles and a glue made from popsicle sticks. Let's just think take a step back, breathe deeply through the nose and think about every option, the risks and rewards, the various yins and yangs.
The AP sez Homer Bailey doing better, while Harang still sore
The team has seen a flurry of personnel activity in recent weeks - minor signings, injuries, call-ups, send-downs - with precious little on the positive side of the ledger so far. There's still no timetable on Harang or Bailey - and both seem to be weeks away. Bailey has been having a catch more regularly, but Harang is still limited to the treadmill - which should at least give him time to catch up with Nancy Grace, while swallowing the ironic symbolism of running in place. With Scott Rolen's status up in the air and Volquez crashing down to earth, the club's depth has become the victim of creeping attrition.
Fay also reports Jason Isringhausen has been officially inked; Corky Miller sent down for Ramon Hernandez
Wonder Twins - Activate (from DL). Form of...Hernaningans. And the 2006 Cardinals Reunion continues unabated. I'm not sure Isringhausen brings a whole lot more to the table than Springer, but in a challenging reliever market, Walt's volume acquisition strategy may be the only way to find some outside bullpen help.
Owings sent down, Fisher recalled
Rounding out the ball and cup game. Hopefully this is more than a lateral move. Taken with the Isringhausen signing, the bottom of the barrel has been thoroughly scraped.
I'd be less than thrilled to trade Zack Cozart, who still represents the hope of a slick-fielder shortop with pop, for a reliever rental, nor dealing away Chris Heisey (see Slyde's post), but it should be pretty clear that the bullpen isn't going to make any great leap forward without a trade:
With a 4.73 bullpen-wide Fair Run Average that betrays how little they have going for them beyond Francisco Cordero and Arthur Lee Rhodes, the Reds rate 12th in the National League, the worst mark of any of the league's contenders.
The A's Wuertz is more appealing as a long-term solution. Trading for a reliever just might necessarily mean betting against upside and looking like the loser in the trade. Regardless of where you stand on trading for bullpen help, the Reds will be hard-pressed to contend through September without finding at least another reliable arm somewhere.
Volquez was honest about his control issues last night
The road to full recovery can be rocky. If Volquez is essentially the marquee mid-season pickup for the Reds, he's going to need to pitch like the ace we saw against the Rockies for the Reds to hang tough - especially if the offense crashes back to Earth.
Doug Gray has a news roundup and system leaderboard over at Reds Minor Leagues
Neftali Soto has set aside the tools of ignorance for the year. And Doug projects an August callup for Isringhausen. I imagine going to take a while to shake the rust, but the Reds currently have Carlos Fisher and Justin Smith in the 'pen. There will be much spinning of them old revolving doors.
Pete Rose made a special trip to the haberdasher for the Strasburg start
And the baseball blogosphere lurches ever so slightly in the direction of catty fashion and society blogs. This isn't about gambling, cheating or (at least primarily about) his much younger Playboy Playmate girlfriend? Progress.
FanGraphs looks at last night's gem gem by Livan and his inexplicable late-career revival
There's no particular shame in being shutdown by a guy with a 3.27 ERA, but that guy is also 35, with a lifetime 4.40 ERA and (4.42 FIP). Carry the one, and the league's best offense should really be able to plate some runs - Votto&Rolen or no.